The 5 Best Fish Oils For Children – 2017 Reviews and Top Picks
Young children have a higher vitamin and mineral requirement than an average older person because their bodies still have a lot of developing to do. To ensure that their children get all the nutrients that they need, most parents turn to fish oil because of its rich omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for body and brain development.
As parents ourselves, we only want the best for our children. To help you choose the right fish oil for your kids, we have compiled a list of the best fish oil for children in terms of nutritional content, taste and texture, and ease of intake.
- Barlean's Organic Oils Kid's Omega Swirl Fish Oil The liquid fish oil format of Barlean’s Organic Oils has a stronger dose of DHA per serving but unlike conventional liquid-type fish oils, this has a smoothie texture and a lemonade flavor to mask the fishy taste.
- Yummi Bears Fish Free Omega 3 with Chia Seed Supplement for Kids This fish oil supplement uses a plant-based omega-3 and fruit pectin base as sweetener. It doesn’t contain any dairy ingredient which makes it perfect for vegetarians and children with lactose intolerance.
- L'il Critters Omega-3 DHA If your kids are extremely picky, then you might want to check this out as L’il Critters have one of the tastiest gummy-type fish oil right now. However, it does contain high sugar levels and soy ingredients, so if you have a lactose-intolerant in the family, then this fish oil is not the one for you.
- SmartyPants Kids Gummy Multivitamin & Omega-3 Fish Oil SmatyPants fish oils are among the most popular and great-tasting fish oils in the market. For a gummy-type fish oil, it is packed with omega-3. Sadly, it’s also full of sugar.
- Nordic Naturals Children's DHA The Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA is perfect for children who can’t take liquid fish oil and for parents who don’t want their children to take candy masquerading as fish oil. This is a gel capsule with a solid dose of omega-3. It’s also smaller than the normal gel caps which makes it easy to swallow.
Review Of The Best Fish Oil For Children
This fish oil brand contains 8 ounces of fish oil derived from anchovy, sardine, and mackerel to support your child’s cognitive development and increase intelligence and attention span. Unlike other fish oil brands that come in gummy or pill forms, Barlean’s Organic Oil is in liquid form with a smoothie-like texture and lemonade flavor.
Each serving of Barlean’s Organic Oil contains 360 mg of DHA so your child will only need only one tablespoon of this every day. This means that one bottle of this can last for 47 servings, which is a lot for an 8-ounce bottle.
Barlean’s Organic Oil has no artificial flavors and colors. It’s also gluten-free and GMO-free.
- Tastes like a fruit smoothie
- No fishy aftertaste
- High DHA content in one serving
- Contains omega-3 with vitamin E only
- Shorter shelf-life than fish oil gummies or pills
If you’re looking for something vegetarian, the Yummi Bears Fish Oil might be the one for you. One bottle of this contains 90 gummy bears full of 16 essential vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy vision and strong immune system.
Each serving of Yummi Bears is packed with 180 mg of plant-based omega oil. It uses a fruit pectin base so you can be sure that it has no artificial sweeteners. Yummi Bears can also be taken by children with lactose intolerance, as it doesn’t contain any dairy and gluten.
Yummi Bears Fish Oil comes in cranberry and orange flavors. It’s also made exlusively in the USA.
- Okay for vegetarians and children with lactose intolerance
- No artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
- Has a sour taste
- Can sometimes be sticky and slimy
- Requires several gummies a day
Another all-American brand, L’il Critters contain 60 fish oil gummies per bottle. Each gummy is packed with 32 mg of DHA and antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, and D3.
L’il Critters boasts of its ChefsBest Certified Award, a prize given to food and supplement brands highly approved by independent professional chefs. Additionally, L’il Critters gummies have a smaller size so children as young as two years old can take it.
This fish oil brand uses only purified fish oil and natural colors and flavors. It has also been tested for mercury and PCBs. It comes in lemonade, strawberry lemonade, and cherryade flavors.
- No artificial flavors and colors
- Small-sized gummies
- With antioxidants
- Low DHA level per serving
- Slight fishy aftertaste
- May cause flatulence
- Needs several gummies a day
- With soy
SmartyPants Fish Oil is the number one bestselling fish oil in Amazon right now, with a 4.3 star rating from 2,425 customer reviews. It features 13 essential nutrients, including omega-3 for clear eyes, vitamin D3 for strong bones, and vitamin B12 for mental focus.
Each serving contains 340 mg of omega-3. It only uses natural colors and flavors and has no gluten, GMOS, and other allergens.
SmartyPants Fish Oil gummies can also boost your child’s immune system and can also help increase the appetite of your picky eaters.
- Easy to chew and swallow
- Doesn’t stick
- Tastes just like candy
- Grainy texture
- High sugar content
- May have aftertaste
Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA is the usual go-to of parents with children who can’t take the conventional fish oil pill or syrup. Its most unique feature is its soft gel form. Each gel capsule is smaller compared with other fish oil pills, which makes it easier to swallow for young children. The gel’s triglyceride formula also allows faster digestion and better absorption.
Made from 100% pure Artic cod, it contains 225 mg of omega-3 in every serving, which is a solid dose for such a small gel.
- Soft gel form
- Easy to chew and swallow
- High omega-3 content per serving
- Only for children 3 years and older
How Much Fish Oil Should Your Kids Take?
Research estimates that most American children aged one to five year old only get an alarmingly low 20mg of DHA every day. To correct this, the World Health Organization published a daily recommended amount of omega-3 for different age brackets of children.
- For infants 6 to 24 months of age: 5mg of DHA for every one pound of body weight
- For children 2 to 4 years old: 150mg of both DHA and EPA
- For children 4 to 6 years old: 200mg every day
- For children 6 to 10 years old: 250mg every day
- For teenagers: up to 1000mg every day
On the other hand, the US Institute of Medicine recommends taking fish oil about twice as high as the amounts recommended by the World Health Organization.
However, you also shouldn’t go overboard with your children’s fish oil. The US Food and Drug Administration warns about taking more than 3000 mg or 3 grams of fish oil to avoid any negative effects.
Types of Fish Oil
There are three common types of fish oil available in the market: liquid form, gel capsules, and gummies. The type of fish oil your kids take can influence its absorption rate and the strength of the dose.
Liquid fish oils generally have higher concentrations of omega-3 and DHA and the body absorbs it faster and better, which means that your children get more nutrients in every serving.
However, liquid fish oils tend to have a strong fishy smell and aftertaste. Luckily, some brands offer smoothie-type liquid fish oils which can be chilled to encourage small children into drinking it.
Gummy-type fish oils are probably the most popular among kids and parents as gummies have the most attractive packaging and taste among fish oil types. However, this type of fish oil is also more loaded with sugar, so if you’re worried about the sugar intake of your kids, then you might want to skip this.
Lastly, gel capsules are a cross between liquid fish oil and gummies. It’s basically liquid fish oil encased in a gummy-like chewable coating. Some fish oil brands incorporate an easy-to-absorb formula in their gel caps so it can be efficiently taken in by the body. But if your children have trouble chewing or swallowing, then gel caps are a no-no.
In terms of the nutritional content, taste and texture, and ease of making kids take it, the Barlean’s Organic Oils Kid's Omega Swirl Fish Oil scored the highest in all three aspects. Plus, it’s also the cheapest fish oil brand in this list.
One bottle of Barlean’s Organic Oils contains only 8 ounces but each serving is packed with 360 mg of omega-3. This falls within the recommended daily serving of omega-3 by the World Health Organization.
Since each serving is concentrated, your child will only need one tablespoon of this fish oil a day. It also doesn’t taste like fish oil at all because of its natural lemonade flavor and smoothie texture.
Overall, Barlean’s Organic Oils Kid’s Omega Swirl Fish is the best fish oil for children as it gives more nutrients for your children without the hassle of forcing them to take it and at a much lower price.